From education to employment

NCG Welcomes New Head of Innovation for Construction Technologies

Brett O’Reilly, Head of Innovation for Construction Technologies

Former Birmingham City Cabinet Member Brett O’Reilly (@brett4lwh) has joined NCG (@NCG_Official) as Head of Innovation for Construction Technologies; a brand-new role that will see the college group reform its construction curriculum and position itself as one of the leading education and training providers for the construction industry.

In his newly created role, Brett will respond to emerging technologies and changing skills needs to rethink the construction courses that are traditionally offered at further education colleges. By building external networks with employers, industry bodies, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and other stakeholder bodies, Brett will ensure that the curriculum across NCG’s seven colleges is evolving to meet the skills required by industry.

“This is a brand-new role and I’m really excited that I’ll get to shape it and really make an impact across NCG’s seven colleges and in the wider construction sector,” says Brett.

“The construction industry is changing. New technologies and ways of building are emerging all of the time and it’s vital that we are teaching the new skills that are needed to develop a skilled workforce and drive the industry forward.

“In addition to that, we are responding to shifting government priorities that not only put employers at the heart of the skills system, but aim to ‘level up’ the country through new infrastructure, as we recover from the impacts of both Brexit and the pandemic.”

Brett’s journey to a role in reshaping and rethinking education is an unlikely one, having been kicked out of school before his final year, but is one that ensures he is well placed to achieve the lofty goals of his job description.

Hailing from a single parent household in a poor area of Birmingham, he understands the challenges faced by students in economically deprived areas and the lack of opportunities provided to them, having overcome many of them himself.

Brett began his career as an apprentice electrician and spent several years in industry, progressing to management positions before moving to the FE sector in 2009. Elected as a councillor in 2012, Brett became Cabinet member for Jobs and Skills at Birmingham City Council in 2016 and returned to FE in 2018, managing an electrical and automotive curriculum.

Brett continues:

“I’m really excited to step into this role at NCG and support its vision to enable social mobility and economic prosperity through exceptional education.

“I bring with me over ten years’ experience of managing curriculum, apprenticeships and quality across every construction trade, alongside my role as Jobs and Skills cabinet member. I understand the importance of forging valuable relationships and placing employers at the heart of education to create skills training and education that is ambitious, relevant and impactful.

“I am looking forward to the challenge of embracing this opportunity to develop a truly innovative offer that will create a lasting impact for learners across NCG’s colleges and construction employers nationwide.”

Deputy CEO of NCG, Chris Payne, added:

“At NCG we are always looking for innovative approaches to curriculum and have deliberately set out to create a real national specialism in construction. We are delighted to welcome Brett to the group to lead on this.”

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